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51 soldiers, 9 civilians detained over Gülen links in post-coup investigations

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Turkish authorities on Monday detained 51 soldiers and nine others over alleged links to a US-based cleric who Ankara claims orchestrated a failed coup in 2016 against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Reuters reported, citing the İstanbul police.

Those detained were among 89 suspects whose detention was ordered in an investigation launched by İstanbul prosecutors and spread over nine provinces, it said.

The Turkish government started a crackdown on the movement after the foiled coup attempt, in which 249 people were killed. The movement strongly denies any involvement.

In a separate legal action, Ankara prosecutors issued detention warrants for 13 senior officers, all with the rank of major and of whom three are on active duty, according to the Hürriyet newspaper.

Since the abortive putsch, more than 400,000 people have been investigated by Turkish prosecutors over alleged Gülen links. According to Justice Ministry data, in excess of 30,000 people with alleged links to the movement are in prison.

Meanwhile, the Ankara 16th High Criminal Court handed down jail sentences to 115 people who were arrested as part of an investigation into the movement’s alleged infiltration in the Turkish Air Forces.

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